A group of nearly 200 retired generals and admirals sent a letter to Congress Wednesday urging lawmakers to reject the Iran nuclear agreement, The Washington Post reported.
The letter is the latest in a blizzard of missives petitioning Congress to either support or oppose the agreement with Iran.
The latest letter, addressed to Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate and the House, is a response to one sent last week by three dozen retired senior military officers who support the nuclear deal.
“The agreement will enable Iran to become far more dangerous, render the Mideast still more unstable and introduce new threats to American interests as well as our allies,” the letter states, according to The Washington Post.
The signatories include retired generals and flag officers from every branch of service, including a handful who were involved in some public controversies during their careers.
One is William G. “Jerry” Boykin, the former undersecretary of defense for intelligence under President George W. Bush and currently executive vice president of the Family Research Council.
It also was signed by John Poindexter and Richard Secord, who were involved in the Iran Contra affair in the Reagan administration, in which arms were sold to Iran to fund the Contras in Nicaragua.
Many of the signatories served in the White House, under Democratic administrations as well as Republican, noted The Washington Post. The only thing they appear to have in common is that they consider the Iran deal a threat to U.S. interests in the region and its own national security.
Leon A. “Bud” Edney, a retired admiral who served as vice chief of naval operations, initiated the letter after he read the letter by other retired officers in support of the Iran nuclear deal.
“I looked at the letter they published, and thought it was very weak,” said Edney. “I just don’t agree with it.” He then got the alternative viewpoint rolling through e-mails sent to some of his Navy and Marine friends. They in turn passed it on.
Congress continues to review the deal, which it has until September 17 to accept or reject.
The White House said earlier on Wednesday that the Obama administration is focused on building enough support for the Iran deal to keep Congress from "spoiling" it.
"There are several indications that we are succeeding in our effort to build support in Congress," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.
Supporters of the agreement have had the momentum growing in their favor. A 29th senator, Democrat Patty Murray of Washington, came out in favor of the deal on Tuesday.
So far, only two Senate Democrats — New York's Chuck Schumer and New Jersey's Bob Menendez — have announced that they will vote against the deal, though several key Democratic senators have yet to announce their position.
On Tuesday, Republican Bob Menendez, who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee and is a leading voice against the deal, acknowledged that the White House lobbying campaign for the Iran nuclear deal has generated results, and said he doesn't know if opponents of the deal can prevail.